Extended periods of extremely light weather means that the final stage of Leg Zero – departing Saint-Malo on Sunday – has been split into two parts.
Leg 1 will see the fleet start from Saint-Malo at 1100 UTC on Sunday. The boats will sail a 25nm leg towards Le Grand Lejon in the North West.
For the seasoned race veterans, this leg will be as close to a pleasant Sunday cruise as is possible in the Volvo Ocean Race. A gentle 5-knot breeze from the north, coupled with a favourable current the whole way, means that there won't be any sail changes but the teams will still be fighting for every metre as their finishing order counts for the next leg.
Leg 2 will begin from Chaussé de Sein (on the other side of the Brittany coast) at 0900 UTC on Monday. The boats will start individually based on the finishing delta from Leg 1. This means the positions at any time during Leg 2 will be the true order of the fleet.
Race Director Phil Lawrence said: "This is not something we would do for the real race, but is a practical solution in view of a very light forecast for this leg.
"We only have limited days until the race proper begins, and time is precious for the teams. The focus of Leg Zero has always been about helping the sailors, teams, and organisation prepare for the upcoming edition – and of course giving the fans something to get excited about, too."